“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD … I also have heard you… You will be buried in peace.”
—2 Kings 22:19-20
King Josiah was shocked when he heard the Book of the Law read to him. Not only had God’s commands been forgotten, but God’s righteous anger against his people’s sin had been ignored (Deuteronomy 29:20-28). Josiah did not dismiss, argue with, or complain about God’s impending judgment. Given the idol worship and sin that filled the land, he sensed that just punishment would be coming soon.
The king’s reaction was complete humility and heartfelt sorrow for the past violations of God’s Word. He consulted with a prophet to receive a clearer picture of what God would do. The prophet had bad news for the nation of Judah, but some good news for Josiah. Although the coming disaster could not be avoided, God promised it would be delayed until Josiah’s life was over.
The king could have received this prophecy with selfish gratitude. But his response was to intensify his leadership of the spiritual reformation of the land, and to rededicate the people to trust and obey God.
The Bible tells us that one day God will bring disaster on the whole world for rejecting him and practicing evil. We cannot ignore his judgment. But for all who humble themselves before his Word, Jesus Christ, and obey his commands, life eternal is promised.
Lord, “I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:25). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!